“It is deeply troubling that financial institutions, including our nation’s largest banks, profited off fees charged to those struggling the most as the Covid-19 economic crisis left many families in severe financial distress,” the lawmakers wrote in a Wednesday letter to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.
“We urge you to refund the overdraft fees JPM charged to consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic and to change JPM’s overdraft practices to stop charging these predatory fees in the future,” the lawmakers wrote.
JPMorgan: We waived $430 million in overdraft fees
JPMorgan declined to comment directly on the New York Democrats’ letter.
“Our regulators encouraged banks to do things like waive fees and delay/defer payments for affected customers — which is exactly what we did,” a JPMorgan spokesperson said in a statement.
JPMorgan said that “with no questions asked,” it waived fees and delayed payments for about 3 million accounts for customers who said they were affected by Covid-19. Altogether, the bank said it waived over $650 million in fees, including $430 million in overdraft fees.
Meanwhile, JPMorgan pointed to a range of improvements it has made to overdraft policies in recent years, including introducing an overdraft-free, low cost bank account and showing check transactions as “pending” to give customers a chance to make deposits to prevent overdrawing their accounts.
Still, overdraft fees are clearly under heavy scrutiny right now.
Maloney, one of the New York lawmakers who wrote to Dimon, plans to reintroduce legislation that would crack down on what she views as “predatory” overdraft fees.